Review Detail

Ungifted FeaturedHot
Kids Fiction 5008
A fun middle grade read
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Ungifted is a well-written middle grade novel. It is a fun, light story that is perfect for young readers and easy enough for reluctant readers. The plot progresses steadily and has some very light hearted moments. I enjoyed watching Donovan as realized that the gifted kids were fun and interesting and that they were his true friends. Some of his actions left Donnie a little unlikeable, but he did manage to grow by the end of the novel.

The other characters are cute, if a little stereotypical. I enjoyed Noah the most and was amused by his constant yearning to be expelled from the Academy. Chloe was also a cute character, but I felt the romantic element a little unnecessary and distracting.

I wasn't a big fan of the alternating narrative. Perhaps if it had been less random and had a little more development among fewer characters, I would have enjoyed it more. I also noticed an odd undercurrent of public school bashing. Admittedly, as a Canadian, I am not fluent in the issues plaguing the American school system, however, as a teacher, I felt a little insulted. We do the best we can with what we are given and I felt that the novel wasn't giving that process credit.

I can see this book appealing to boys (as most of Gordon Korman's books do) and being an enjoyable read for those reluctant readers.
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